RSS Affordable Florida Keys Vacation Rentals for the Aquarium Geek

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  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

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    8 May 2007
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    [​IMG]Public Pier at Park near DiverTom's Vacation Rentals

    I wanted to fill you all in on a secret aquarium-related getaway I experienced while in the Keys.* For the aquarium hobbyist who has never seen a wholesale operation, staying at the vacation rentals offered by Tom and Carol Scaturro of will give you a unique glimpse into the life of a full time Florida fish collector.* I’d seen Tom’s rentals maybe a year ago, so I jumped at the opportunity to stay there before speaking in Orlando at ORCA’s Southeastern Reef Conference.

    I’m not going to sugar coat or exaggerate the amenities – if you’re looking for a 5-star luxury experience, I’m thinking that VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) isn’t going to be your thing.* However, my wife and I have found this alternative form of lodging to be a great way to travel and get a much bigger bang for your buck.* Tom and Carol offer both a studio and 2-bedroom rental.* Rates vary with the season of course – I found them to be very reasonable.* I was especially pleased to be able to give my money to someone in the aquarium industry as I traveled through the Keys.* Located in Tavernier, between Key Largo and Islamorada, the drive was a total of about 1. 5 hours from Miami International Airport.* Tavernier happened to also be some of the cheapest gas we saw in the Keys, so be sure to fill up when you’re there!

    [​IMG]Koi pond outside the front door to the 2 bedroom vacation rental.

    We stayed in the 2 bedroom apartment @ Carol & Tom’s.* Very clean, plenty of space, separate AC in both rooms, free WiFi, fridge, kitchen, living room, bathroom and shower…all the stuff you need.* It’s not beachfront property (there is a public park within walking distance), but the private rooftop Tiki Bar is nothing to scoff at!* Of course, we had such a good time I never even thought to take pictures of the apartment or the overall building. *With only Tom & Carol and one other vacationer around (staying in the studio rental) we had plenty of privacy.* Our hosts were gracious and friendly of course, but I don’t want to give the impression that they’re running some sort of bed & breakfast where they are everywhere you turn.* Staying only 2 nights, we barely scratched the surface of things to do – I guess we’ll try the canoeing some other time (if you can get us out of the ocean!).

    Oh, and yes, the ocean was just awesome off the shores of Tavernier.* I have no frame of reference for how things perhaps “used to be”, but for a guy with an unnatural fear of being eaten by sharks, I got over it pretty quickly and really enjoyed getting wet (the good water clarity helped).

    [​IMG]Seafans and Porkfish off Tavernier, Florida

    Frankly, I cannot wait to get back there if the opportunity arises, although I’m probably going to make it pretty hard to get a reservation after this post (they’re already pretty booked up – a testament to the value and quality).* Without a doubt, if you’re a marine aquarist traveling to the Keys, you owe it to yourself to get out of the traditional tourist rut and consider spending some time with DiverTom if you can.


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